on 03-11-2016 11:29 AM
It seems to me that the Goods Statement or Goods Statutory Declaration is now the State Revenue Office (SRO) equivalent of the Emperor's New Clothes - everyone pretends that they can see the need for it, when no-one really needs or wants it at all.
In a recent PEXA settlement I was asked by the purchaser's lawyers for a Goods Statutory Declaration. I advised the lawyers that, as the matter was settling through PEXA, a Goods Statutory Declaration (GSD) would not be necessary.
I was then told that the purchaser is required to obtain the GSD from the vendor, and to retain it for 7 years.
How dumb is that?
I put it to the lawyers that the following propositions would reveal the absurdity of the suggestion:
1. The SRO does not require the GSD at all.
2. The settlement will proceed without the GSD.
3. There is no obligation on a vendor to provide a document that is not required for settlement.
4. The purchaser is entitled to prepare the GSD if the purchaser really wants to have one.
5. A simple email from the lawyers to the purchaser client advising them to download, complete and execute the GSD and then to file it in the bottom drawer of their dresser for 7 years would be adequate, given the above.
Someone at the SRO has failed to address the issue of the GSD, and so their simple solution is that I should be put to the time and effort of creating a document, having my client execute it, sending it to the other side, so that the other side can simply stick it on a pin for 7 years. Why? Just in case someone at the SRO may want to look at it one day.
This kind of stupidity has to be addressed in the early stages of the PEXA roll-out, and so I shout long and hard, "Hey everyone, look at the emperor, he's wearing no clothes."
on 04-11-2016 12:23 PM
Just to clarify, are you saying the Goods Stat Dec was not required because a Goods Statement would suffice? Or are you saying that neither is relevant in the PEXA context?
I note the purpose of both forms is "to assist the SRO in determining the duty payable on the sale of residential land...". As the SRO, not PEXA, determines duty payable, the forms are still required. The settlement channel does not alter any of the requirements to complete forms set by the SRO.
Also, I believe there *is* a requirement in General Condition 6 of the standard LIV/REIV contract to provide the Goods Statement (or stat dec if applicable). Both the Goods Statement and the Goods Stat Dec state that the transferee can only complete the form if there is a "good reason" that the transferor can not.
Hope this helps,
on 04-11-2016 12:30 PM
The emperor's new clothes is the "requirement". Who requires it? The SRO doesn't, I don't, you don't. So why are we pretending that it's required?
Everyone pretends that they can see the "requirement" but no-one can show how this requirement arises. Reference to the contract doesn't help, and a PEXA settlement can go ahead without it.
The test for it's being "required" is that settlement cannot proceed without it.
on 23-01-2017 10:39 PM
Thanks for for your contribution on this subject.
The State Revenue Office (SRO) is required to determine the duty payable by a purchaser of Land in Victoria. The assessment and payment of land transfer (stamp) duty by the purchaser then allows settlement, lodgement and registration to proceed smoothly. The purpose of Duties form 2 which is the Goods Statuatory Declaration is to assist the SRO in determining the duty payable on the sale of land or land use entitlement, and all goods whether included or excluded from the contract price which form substantially one arrangement. The good statement is an affirmation that the data pertaining to the transfer is true and correct. This statement can be used in compliance activity.
Pleasingly, the SRO is reviewing the Goods Statutory Declaration and the legislative need for wet signatures on this document so that it might be suitable for consideration as a electronic document.
on 24-01-2017 08:31 AM
Sorry, but your response takes us nowhere. Please tell me why:
1. I have to obtain a hard copy document when the Client Authorisation gives me authority to provide my client's responses to SRO interrogations via Duties Online.
2. I have to duplicate my efforts via Duties Online AND a hard copy form instead of opting for one or the other.
3. I have to allocate space in my office as a storage facility for the SRO, and be ready to deliver up hard copy document if and when called upon by the SRO.
Not requiring a wet signature is not pleasing at all when the above questions have not been addressed. I feel that I am being taken for granted and taken for a fool by the SRO.
on 31-01-2017 02:52 PM
I completely agree with your thoughts on the goods statement and also think the SRO need to review and compact their documents rather than having form 62's etc. The whole concept of electronic conveyancing seems irrelevant if we have to print pages of SRO docs.
However i don't think it is a requirement to have the copy of docs kept in hard copy, the SRO will accept an electronic copy if audited.
on 31-01-2017 03:08 PM
Thanks for your support on this issue sjdlaw. With regard to the requirement to maintain hard copies, I think you will find that the Agreement that a subscriber has to enter into with the SRO in order to use the Duties Online facility requires that the information entered on line has to be supported by a hard copy document signed by the subscriber's client and retained by the subscriber for at least 5 years.
This is why I find the whole system so silly. I obtain a signed Client Authorisation to act on my client's behalf, and yet I still have to obtain the hard copy form.
If the SRO is so keen to have a hard copy document stored for posterity, perhaps the requirement should be that the client should retain it, instead of forcing the collection and storage responsibility onto lawyers/conveyancers.
It's all so frustrating!
on 02-02-2017 09:59 PM
You are correct. Duties Online registered organisations are able to store documents for the transfer electronically on the proviso that all images are visible and clear. These can be provided electronically in the case of compliance. audits.
The SRO has commenced the design of an online portal to allow capture of relevant transaction data, which would populate into DOL to allow the assessment of duty. Paper based forms and the duplication associated with them would then be made redundant.
Hope this helps.
on 03-02-2017 04:59 AM
That would be excellent Paul. PEXA will fly when it becomes an alternative to, rather than an addition to, the workload we already carry.